In the 14th century, the town ranked as the third port of England. It became very prosperous from the 17th century through the export of corn; the Customs House was built in 1683. It was - and is - a major centre for glass-making.
The Deputy Collector of Customs in 1757 was called George Vancouver. He navigated the American coast in 1790 and gave his name to Vancouver Island and the city of Vancouver - 5,000 miles away from King's Lynn.